Saturday, November 14, 2009

T. J. Johnson (pt.2)  

I spent a lot of time going through pictures taken during the riots that took place in Brixton, London in April of 1981, it was hard to choose one, I didn't want to pick anything too explicitly powerful, or anything with a copyright notice on it, both of which were hard.

T. J. Johnson emigrated to the UK from the Caribbean as a youth and produced this record for the London based Switch label in 1982 in the aftermath of the riots, and the storied apex of the UK disco funk scene. Events such as the Brixton riots and the evolution of multi cultural Britain obviously influenced T. J as much of his later independant work right up to the modern day has socially aware lyrical inspiration. He still makes records and gigs on the European soul, funk, and blues circuit, as guitarist for a few bands and leading a couple of his own, although his earliest disco work is mostly forgotten amongst all the session work he did later on in the eighties. He was very much the UK Niles Rogers, both in his guitar technique (which was still distinctly his own) and the quality of his chops.

I have been collecting and championing lesser (and greater) known UK boogie for a while, but of all the rare grails, the most heavy, most monstrous, most dance floor destroying cuts to come out of the early eighties South London funk scene for me must be the first two T. J. Johnson records, the second of which 'I Can Make It (Good For You) / Dragonfly' I posted a while ago, and the first of which, 'Pretty Lady/Lets Do It (Lets Rock)' I'm posting now. Despite 'Pretty Lady' being a small underground hit in the UK I think this is an internet first, so all you thieving funk blogs get ready to repost the rip on zshare.

I haven't posted a secret weapon in a while, I have been holding back for some reason, mostly by some ultra whack hard electro remixes I heard that were sourced from tracks off of the site, but then the other day I remembered what the whole point of this site was meant to be in the first place, and what does it matter. So that being said, here is another one that sends the other DJ's on the lineup home early to jump on ebay. Good luck.

Posted by Black Shag | 24 comments

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24 comments: to “ T. J. Johnson (pt.2)

  • November 15, 2009 at 2:11 AM  

    Yo thanks for this man, love the sound

  • November 15, 2009 at 3:14 AM  

    thanks so much for posting this stuff. Two amazing songs. Come On Lets Do It is a 10 out of 10 track.

  • November 15, 2009 at 4:59 AM  


    After T.J: Johnson (pt.1) with dragonfly and i can make it, I tought it couldn't get any better.
    I was proved wrong.


    Thanks from Germany

  • November 15, 2009 at 10:36 AM  

    wow so much fun

  • November 15, 2009 at 4:01 PM  

    Good fucking post, no doubt you'll see those other biters posting these songs on their pages. Keep it up!

  • November 16, 2009 at 8:58 AM  

    devastating. stay ahead of the pack!

  • November 16, 2009 at 10:09 AM  


  • November 16, 2009 at 11:04 AM  

    why do you guys constantly tout the 'we did it first' nonsense

    get over yourselves, you just FIND the music, and your not the only ones whos found this stuff either...

  • November 16, 2009 at 12:11 PM  

    I just find the music, and you just download the music. For the time I put in all I really get back is the pleasure of having a little fun with the write ups, talking a bit of shit and reading the comments. I don't charge you a dime, you don't even have to read a word I have to say, you can click the links and then be gone to the next blog, so why criticise? I'm just a guy with a day job and this is my hobby.

    If you knew anything about record digging, or rare groove DJ'ing culture you would understand that there is good humored element of competativeness, its one of the things that drives some of us to engage in the passtime. Take the writing with a grain of salt, none of us claimed to be rockstars or to have done anything more than a turn a record we liked into an mp3, but I'm guessing thats still a greater contribution than you ever made you whining fuck.

  • November 16, 2009 at 2:05 PM  

    i do know the culture, ive been in it for years, in fact, im sure you know who i am....and probably have some of my records..
    and i do know about the good humored competitiveness, again, ive been it for years...
    all i said, and meant, was why do you throw that shit in, whats the big deal...we all know people bite, hate, criticize......its annoying to read about, just shut up about it.
    i happen to enjoy this site, the music you guys post, and usually what you have to say about the cuts...
    im just totally sick of the snobbery...everyone seems to think now they can get on their high horse about vinyl, and DIGGING, and 'what its really about,' now that a new culture for DJing has emerged...

    ...and you assume, because im adverse to something you wrote, that im somehow not on the same level as you, that im one of those people you occasionally refer disqualify what i say by assuming ive contributed less to the culture than your site...get the fuck outta here, you couldnt be further off.

    so, what was the point of beat electric?
    ...was it to proliferate music you love and know others would love?
    to promote otherwise 'lost music'
    or to shit on people you know nothing about....?
    nah, probably just wanted a faceless persona where you can constantly pomp on and
    on, telling all your followers that you find the best shit, and how what you do is different from 'them'

    grow up, your attitude is part of the problem

    dont quite think that last sentence is accurate, but whatever ; )

  • November 16, 2009 at 2:20 PM  

    'but I'm guessing thats still a greater contribution than you ever made you whining fuck.'

    that one, not mine ; ) ; )

  • November 16, 2009 at 2:53 PM  

    Tongue in cheek comments can come off snobbishly over the internets so it helps to add a British accent when you are reading them.

  • November 16, 2009 at 3:01 PM  

    You know, this sort of ranting mystifies me. We post our music to share for everyone. If we want to talk about how certain tracks are deep or we dropped them first, so the hell what.

    If you come on our blog and drop some disrespectful, jaded bullshit, then you should expect to get it back in your face. I do not assume to know much about you, nor do I care. Although the one and only thing I will assume is that you are wasting your time trying to shit talk at us when all we are doing is posting free music for people to enjoy. I would submit that action in itself accurately accounts for calling someone a "whining fuck".

  • November 16, 2009 at 3:44 PM  

    i think somebody's having a grumpy day

    love the tracks, the guy plays guitar like a machine! [in a good way]


  • November 16, 2009 at 4:06 PM  

    Not wishing to gang up, but if you post anonymously then I'am free to make all the assumptions about you that I want, but I will stand by my last statement in that it is at the very least, 50% accurate, in that you are certainly a whining fuck, and thats regardless of how tenured and known you are.

    Now if you think I know you or of you, then please, don't keep me at a disadvantage, man up and post using your name if your going to make public issue with anything I have written, otherwise your the one using 'a faceless persona to pomp on and on'.

    I think you have taken a lot of the writing you find objectionable outside of the funk blogosphere context it was written and generalized it to all of record collecting or DJ culture. If I take a pot shot at a site that scrapes our content and reposts it, then I will, whether it annoys you or not, and whether you have owned the record for 30 years or not, and even if you played bass on the fucking thing. Any posturing beyond that on my part, ‘send the other DJ’s home early’, whatever, is just obvious playground talk (that I happen to enjoy writing, as I find it funny). I’m at liberty to clown all I want as I don’t pay the rent doing this. The point of BeatElectric was for firstly for us to have fun with it, secondly to spread the love, educate (or not) and all that. Reading comments like yours claiming that I’m part of some wider ‘problem’ in whatever scene you have attached us too is a bummer, as the only person who had a reasonable right to complain about this post was T J Johnson, as I put his music up for free without asking. Everyone else should have just kept walking if they didn’t like the music or the content, they lost nothing but time.

    If you are a Bay Area local, which I think sadly you probably are, then this wasn’t the right way to go about making a constructive criticism.

    And for everyone else, thanks for reading, I hope you took something from it, even if it was just a couple of mp3's.

  • November 16, 2009 at 4:21 PM  

    I sincerely appreciate this blog and all your time spent maintaining it.

    To be able to score cuts like these without having to go on discogs, Ebay or perish the thought, an actual record store blows my mind.

    I've been a DJ for 25 years and have seen everything I know and love about dj'ing almost disappear. I don't feel that because you have an internet connection and know about this blog you necessarily deserve this music.

    I could go on but have a screaming 3 year old distracting me..

    All in all, please don't let the haters discourage you!!

  • November 16, 2009 at 8:28 PM  


  • November 17, 2009 at 6:15 AM  

    Thank you so much for sharing these amazing gems. I say ignore the haters and keep up the absolutely great work that you're doing.

    cheers from Finland!

  • November 19, 2009 at 12:44 PM  

    morgan geist?

  • November 21, 2009 at 8:55 AM  

    It seriously blows my mind that anyone who frequents this blog would have the gall to get on your shit like that.

    I hope y'all don't take it too personal as there's way more people out here who have huge respect and appreciation for your efforts.

    Thanks again for another hot jam!

  • November 22, 2009 at 7:37 PM

    ^ haters gonna hate

  • December 3, 2009 at 8:59 PM  

    Wow! Really? all that? Geesh!
    It's really all about the freakin' music yo.
    I say all kinds of nonsense in my blog. Half the time I don't even know what the hell I'm talking about(and who really cares), and usually it's nothing factual, but what my feelings are like about the music. The tracks I put up on my blog aren't mine at all, but the opinions are. And, if i didn't write my usual nonsense there'd be nothing there at all. I chose to write about tracks, instead of just posting the music itself. I believe in the power of free speech, so say what you want. We all reserve the right to read or not ready whatever we want. And, we can also reply or not reply as well. To negativity that is...
    hehe.. ;)

  • December 3, 2009 at 9:02 PM  

    oh, and more power to y'all anywayz.

  • February 28, 2011 at 4:05 AM  

    I remember when you put this up and I walkdanced/pimpwalked the night away to it on my ipod when I was a paperboy. 'Come on let's do it' helped me through a lot of tough nights.